The Cambridge fire chief, four engines, at least eight University policemen, and 12 firemen descended on Mather Hall of Leverett House at 10.10 p.m. Saturday night to extinguish a small blaze caused by a burning sofa in I-43.
After rushing up three flights of stairs in H-entry only to discover the fire was in another part of Mather, three fire-fighters dramatically climbed up an extension ladder to douse the blaze.
According to fireman John Lally, the conflagration was caused by a cigar butt left on the sofa. David N. Owen '61, a neighbor of the damaged suite, said he had smelled smoke for half an hour before turning in the alarm, but his roommates convinced him "it was only stale pretzels." Occupants of the I-43 suite were absent at the time.